Friday, March 24, 2017

Ten Simple Tips for Taking Great Photos

Over the years, as career, travel and family took precedence in my busy life,
 I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed photography.
But now that I have a blog, I've learned that good pictures are a crucial part of it
and the lure of capturing images that tell a story has been reawakened.


I'm always trying to improve my photography skills and
Ron, who was a professional photographer for many years,
even says my photos are good. And that's quite a compliment.


So, without getting into aperture settings and all that technical stuff,
I'd like to offer a few easy tips for taking good pictures.
All you need to do is take the time to notice details like lighting and composition,
and keep a simple digital camera handy. 
In fact, all of these pictures were taken with this camera that fits in my pocket. 



Here are my top ten tips:

1. Photograph outdoor scenes on an overcast day. 
Your garden may look beautiful in the bright sun but the camera sees the shade too and 
the picture will look splotchy. An overcast day will provide softer, more even light.


2. Pay attention to mirrors.
Tilt mirrors down a bit and make sure you don't see yourself in it or pick up a flash. 
Keep in mind the image you're reflecting in the mirror.


3. Take time to frame your shot. 
An object in the foreground will give the picture depth, scale and perspective.


4. Position your subject off center. 
The composition will look better and more natural.
Mix it up by taking some vertical shots as well as horizontal ones. 


5. Get close. 
Details are lost if you're too far away. Notice contrasting textures and shapes.


6. Look for interesting angles and how light hits your subject. 
This can make an ordinary picture dramatic like this shot of the Eiffel Tower at night. 


7. Keep it steady.
 If you have a shaky hand, take a deep breath, let it out, then click.


8. Look out!
Watch out for distractions (like this pole coming out of my head, overhead lines, trash, etc.). 
The camera will see them even if you don't notice.


9. Get up early or sneak out in late afternoon. 
When the sun is lower in the sky, it creates unusual shadows and picks up more details.


10. Tell a story. 
Make your photo personal and evocative.


And, most importantly, remember to always take your camera with you!
Have fun and good luck!

***

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Linking with:
Rustic & RefinedDwellingsBotanic BleuBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal Charm,
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54 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for some simple tips, Pat. I've tried so hard to really learn my DSLR camera but maybe the truth is that I don't have the patience for all that. I might just put it on auto and go with your tips. ;)

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    1. Thanks Stacey. I like to keep it simple and don't feel bad, a lot of people feel the same way about the DSLRs. I might try it one of these days but for now, my little Canon is just fine. Glad you found the tips helpful. Hugs, Pat

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  2. The best camera is the one you have with you, whether it's a point-and-shoot in your pocket or your phone. A fancy DSLR with multiple lenses is wonderful, but difficult to have handy at all times. You offer great advice here.

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    1. How true! Reminds me of that old song, "Love the one you're with." Ha! Pat

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  3. Great tips! My camera is a Canon PowerShot A650.

    Have a wonderful weekend ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you Lorraine. Good to know what you're using. Hugs, Pat

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  4. Thanks for sharing these good tips, Pat. We all strive to improve our photos.

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  5. Very sensible advice. I love my Panasonic LUMIX but I don't take it everywhere with me, for those occasions when I need to get a quick photo my phone comes in really handy, at least 25% of my photos are taken with the iPhone! Because it is always there, the only thing I have learnt is with the iPhone never zoom in, either get closer to accept that there are limitations because as soon as one zooms in the picture becomes pixilated. My best advice get to know your camera and it's capabilities and then the possibilities are endless without the need for super expensive equipment!

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    1. I am on my second Panasonic Lumix, I actually wore one out. It is a great little camera and very portable.

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    2. Thanks Susan! I must be the only person alive who doesn't own an iPhone! LOL. Good advice. Hugs, Pat

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  6. I love the simple! You do a great job.

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    1. Aww. You're so sweet to say so. Thanks so much, Pat

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  7. Great tips, thank you so much.

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    1. Thanks so much. Glad you found the tips helpful. Pat

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  8. Thanks for all the tips Pat. I have the Canon digital and it has all the fancy settings. I usually just put it on auto and don't try to understand all the other things that the camera can do. Must be my age. Ha Ha

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    1. Thanks Jan! You're not the only one who puts it on auto so don't feel bad. You can probably teach me a few things about those fancy settings! Hugs, Pat

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  9. good tips for sure. I love all your shots. thank you for sharing.
    betsy

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    1. Thank you Betsy. Happy to share what works for me. Pat

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  10. All very good tips! Most of my pics on the blog come from either a Sony point & shoot or the iPhone despite having a very good Canon DSLR and multiple lens. It's such a pain to hike around with all that gear when the little cameras do a good job. Now if I'm planning on printing something, then definitely the better resolution from the Canon is a must, but for Internet postings, not so much. Loved your photos (even the one where you're a unicorn with the pole--LOL). Happy first weekend of spring.

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    1. Thanks Monika! Since I've been pondering investing in a DSLR, your comments are helpful. Quite a few people have said they don't want to carry around heavy equipment or mess with the settings unless it's called for. Good to know. Happy weekend back to you! Hugs, Pat

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  11. SO many great tips! Love the pole coming out of your head -- how many times has that happened to me!? These are such simple tips and I appreciate that they can be used by an amateur like me to improve my blog and other photos.

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    1. Thanks so much Lauren. Glad the tips are helpful. I'm sure there are many good sites online that are much more detailed but I like to keep it simple. Enjoy the weekend. Hugs, Pat

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  12. Thanks for the tips! I can always use help in this area, especially #7!

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    1. Thank you Roseann! Glad these simple tips may be helpful, especially good ol' #7. Hugs, Pat

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  13. Great tips - I have great difficulty with light living in Florida. Most of the time it's too bright. If I wait for overcast days, I get few shots.

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    1. Thanks Carol! I hadn't thought about taking pixs in sunny Florida. Maybe try for dusk when there's enough light but it's on its way out and you might find some interesting light. Good luck. Hugs, Pat

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  14. These are terrific tips! Definitely going to try and remember theses! Thank you for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!

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  15. Well, these are all great tips! Your photos are wonderful. Thank you for the nice compliment about my patio. I'm wanting it to have a French feel too!

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    1. Hi Jacqueline! Great to hear from you and thanks so much for the kind words. Hugs, Pat

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  16. Those are good tips... I use them also and it is amazing how good photos can be even without a "professional" camera. :)

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    1. Thanks Joy! Yes, cameras just keep getting better and better. I wonder what they'll be like in another ten years! Hugs, Pat

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  17. Hi Pat,

    Great tips, and I love your last shot of the bench/bright flowers! Aside from my phone, I may be the only blogger who takes pics with my 18 year old Sony Cybershot; it's a point and shoot. The only problem is I cannot blur my backgrounds, and I love when I see such softness in bloggers' photos.

    Visiting from Feathered Nest Friday,
    Poppy:)

    Visiting fro

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    1. Thanks Poppy! Not sure if this would work for you but I do it with good results. Instead of zooming in on something in the foreground, stand close to it and shoot. The background should blur without changing any settings. Good luck, Pat

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  18. Great tips and your photos are gorgeous! I have been looking into a new camera and the one you use is top on my list. Obviously it is worth the investment!

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    1. Thanks AnnMarie! Good luck in your camera search. I hope you find just what you're looking for. Pat

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  19. I love to go antiquing and flea markets.

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    1. Me too! We just went to the Vintage Whites Market here in Denver. It was fabulous. Now, what's next? Hugs, Pat

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  20. Great tips Pat! Your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  21. Thank you for this very useful tips! Yes, I've just discovered my love for making photos! So I'm up to that ;-)

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    1. Thank you Emmi! I've found the more you take pictures, the better they get. Good luck! Hugs, Pat

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  22. I had to come back and tell you that I bought the Canon Powershot and so far, so good! The pictures are so much better than my old camera. Thanks again for this post!

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  23. Pat these are all really great tips. I learned the one about the mirror the hard way! And I paid for it by having to edit myself out of the shot!

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    1. Thanks Mary K! You're not the only one! Hugs, Pat

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  24. Hello Pat! What awesome photography tips. I love that photo you took of the morning glory flowers. They are one of my favorites :) Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It & congratulations on being featured this week!

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  25. Looks great Pat! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  26. Such great tips, Pat--so helpful! Love having you and your posts party with us at Vintage Charm :)

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  27. Great tips and gorgeous pictures. Thank you for linking to Monday Social.

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  28. Enjoyed your post, I strive so hard to take beautiful pics that tell a story. Would love for you to visit my blog, would love your feedback!

    Debby
    Debbygoesshabby.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Debby! I'll be checking out your blog soon. Is there a particular post you'd like me to visit and comment on? My photo philosophy is to keep it simple and have fun. Hugs, Pat

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  29. Fabulous photos! This was really helpful and so well done. I photograph food for for my blog and I must say I wish I were better at it. The photo is everything..You've inspired me to pay more attention to the details.. thanks

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